It would make a good mathematical game some evening for the whole family to sit around a table and figure out what would have to be paid in hard, cold cash for what “only a housewife and mother” is doing day by day. How many days has she been a nurse for sick children? What would you have to pay for her baking, her cooking, her canning and freezing of vegetables?…Count in the homemade toys and the fudge and the thousands of cookies and the popcorn, while you are doing it. As recreational director, party planner, and organizer of picnics, what would she be paid an hour? …What would a taxi driver be paid for all the driving she has done to take the kids to school? Who could pay for the loving child care with baths and rocking, singing and reading aloud, teaching and answering questions honestly?
…To think of “wage earning” as the only financial contribution is to be utterly blind and without imagination. A family with a father farming the land or earning money to buy the necessities in other ways–and a mother who is free to contribute all that her vivid imagination, talents, and constantly developing new skills can contribute–is rich indeed in warmth and variety and inspiration.
–Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?